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For many people, their career path is chosen during their teen years. Sometime, somewhere, some high school guidance counselor sits them down, maps out their strengths, and tells them what careers they're well suited to pursue.

For me, there was no high school, there was no guidance counselor, and there was no mapping out. There was just always a steady, firm knowledge that I would be a musician. From the time I was two years old and dancing on the dining room table, belting out La Bamba and Don't Worry, Be Happy, I knew. By the way, yes, there IS video of those early 'performances'. I always say I fell in love with music before I was born, and it's not a far cry from the truth. By 4 I was plinking out songs on the keyboard (later, I would be given my first real piano, and adore every moment with it), and by 14 I had begun playing my main instrument: guitar. It took me mere weeks after I began playing to decide that I needed a 12-string guitar. I worked hard to save up money to buy that first used 12-string, in bad shape and sorely in need of repair, but very much mine. Over the course of my life, I've picked up and learned over 40 instruments so far, and I look forward to the next 40 just as eagerly as the first.

Musician are always asked, "What are your influences?". We're expected to answer with a long list of artists and bands, ranging from the Beatles to Indie artists to Rimsky-Korsakov to John Williams. But the fact is that if I've heard it, it's influenced me. Whether I liked it or not, it's influenced me. Every artist, band, classical composer, and musical that's crossed my path has had a hand in shaping how I view and relate to music, how I want my music to sound, how it does sound. I've been just as influenced by the musical Les Misérables as I have been by artists like Paddy Casey and Lea Salonga. Even down to the books I've read, experiences I've lived, movies I've seen, or conversations with friends. My biggest influence has always been my faith; more than anything else my belief in God has shaped the ways I relate to the world and the viewpoints of my music. Influences are everywhere!

My influences have come together to propel me forward to accomplish some amazing things. When I first began playing out, and recorded my two albums, I could only dream to come as far as I have. The experiences I've gained have been overwhelmingly positive, and I wouldn't trade any of them for the world. At this point, the albums I recorded have been sold to 15 States and 14 different countries. I've won awards (including eight times in the City Paper awards!), I've played every imaginable type of venue, and I've gotten to meet and share my music with wonderful people. That's the best part of this. I don't just get to do what I love, I get to share what I love with so many others.

I've always wanted to make a difference in the world. I want to help people, to make lives better, to spread love and understanding. I don't want people to feel they're alone in this world, because while spending some time alone is relaxing and rejuvenating, being lonely is not. I want to leave the world a better place than I found it, not just with my music, but in all aspects of my everyday life.

Words are so important to me. Most of my songs begin with a lyric, a story, an idea. Words have so much power, and I want to use that power to do good; the words I sing are as much stories as they are songs. They're always rife with history and memory, even though they're new.

There has never been a time that I wasn't enthralled with music. For me, music is more than a job. It's my passion, my hobby, my calling in life. Music is what I was knit together to do. No matter what is going on in my life, I am always surrounded by music. I wouldn't have it any other way.

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